Here are excerpts from 2 of my blogs dealing with TDing.
How to TD:
I've seen a lot of newbies in the TDs lately and most of what I've seen has shown me that none of them really know how to TD. So, I've decided to come up with some advice for the newbies. I know there are several of these types of blogs out there on this site already.
If you're new to Throwdowns or just want to improve in Throwdowns, follow this advice and you should do well.
Before starting a TD or accepting one; I recommend you look at the TDs that the Top 10 members (these are listed on the TD main page on the right-hand side in the Leaderboard) have done. These members are there for a reason - no matter the TD, they argue well almost every single time. Also, you can do a search for "Top" in the blogs section and come up with several Top TDers blogs that will list member's personal rankings of TDers. Join the Fannation Hall of Fame group - this group has all the best TDers in it. Join a Tournament Group - search for tournament in the group section - very good way to gain experience quickly. Lastly, ask one of the top TDers for advice. There is a group I created called NMI (search for it in the Groups section). All NMI members are always willing to help people improve in their TD skills. You can just fanmail one of the members and ask for advice - not about help in a specific TD but in TDing in general (how, why etc).
Understand what a TD is - a throwdown is a structured debate between 2 people consisting of 3 arguments each. What does this mean? It means each person gets 3 chances to prove to the other members of fannation why the side they are arguing for is the best choice. Also, because it is supposed to be a debate the TD should be about something that is arguable - so it has to be a topic that the opponents can each pick a side and can use facts, stats or opinions to back it up. If the topic you come up with sounds more like a blog or doesn't have 2 sides which can be argued; it's not a TD.
Now that you understand what a TD is, we can move on to how to TD (or how to TD better).
A good TD contains the following:
- 3 arguments from each side. You have 3 chances to make your case - USE THEM! Even if you are losing badly after 1 argument, most people on this site will change their votes after each round of arguing. So, if you put forth your best effort for each argument, you might come up with something that changes a voter's mind and next thing you know, you are winning instead of losing. I'm not talking about those times you just can't get to a computer so you end up missing a turn. I'm talking about the times you just don't argue anymore because you are losing. ALWAYS MAKE 3 ARGUMENTS!
- clear and concise arguments. Use punctuation, proper spelling and grammar (includes spelling out you, are, using to instead of 2 when you mean the word to etc - an argument is not a text message). Make your feelings known. Pretend that no one here can read minds (which we can't), so you want to make your case the best you can. Even if something is obvious to you, make sure you mention it in your argument. Don't leave anything out. You have 1200 characters per argument, USE THEM! Longer arguments aren't necessarily better, but they have a better chance of getting your point across. If your unclear or ramble, don't use punctuation or can't spell CAT without being given the C and T, you will lose votes.
- don't be rude or crude in an argument. Don't call your opponent names or resort to bad language just because you are losing or your opponent doesn't agree with you. The only time I do this is when the person is being a complete idiot and then I don't hesitate to call that person out (like forfeiting each turn, being clueless, unclear etc). The other person is supposed to disagree with you, don't be rude.
- use stats to back up your side (if available). Stats are a very helpful tool when comparing 2 sides of an argument. If you think Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana, you better break out the stats and not just your opinion. Yes, this takes time and some research (try doing an All-Time NFL team TD with Goodell and you'll know what I'm talking about) but will be well worth it in the long run. Opinions backed by stats are always a good thing.
Now we'll talk a bit about Creating TDs.
When creating TDs try to do the following:
- come up with an original, smart idea. Don't be the 100th person to do the "Brady is better than Manning" TD. You will lose votes for being unoriginal. BUT, don't be the person that starts the "The 2007 Miami Dolphins are the Best Ever" TDs - only a couple people on this site can pull those off and chances are YOU are not one of them. There are several TDers that come up with original ideas all the time (Goodell and a throwndowner named NCshvDavid are a couple examples off the top of my head).
- be specific in your title (or if out of room, specify the conditions of the TD in your 1st argument). If your title is "The 07 Pats would lose to of the 90s Cowboys teams" but you meant only the Super Bowl winning Cowboy teams you're out of luck. This happened the other day in a TD someone started and I jumped on. By saying ANY of the 90s Cowboys teams, I was able to use the 6-10 teams to argue why the Pats would win. Voters and your opponent can't read your mind and if you aren't very specific in the guidelines/limits you will lose because of a loophole. A lot of TDers only accept TDs with these kind of loopholes and the great TDers will kill you with a loophole like that.
- make sure it is arguable. I mentioned this above, but will again. A TD is something that has 2 sides to it that can be argued.
- try to avoid the HOMER TDs (especially when you 1st start out). It is hard not to argue for your favorite team, player etc but chances are your feelings will get in the way of having a good TD. No one really likes a homer, and if it is obvious you can lose votes. After you've got several TDs under your belt, then you can try a Homer TD because hopefully by then you will know how to argue better and you should be able to pull it off.
The biggest thing to remember about TDs - win/loss record MEANS NOTHING! Don't get caught up in your win/loss record. There are several problems with voting on TDs (which I won't go into here, check out my other blogs if you want to read about that) that cause good arguments to be voted against etc. Your goal should always be to put forth your best argument each time for all 3 arguments in each TD you do. If you do that, the wins will come. Some of the best TDers on this site aren't even in the top 10 of the leaderboard because their win/loss record is bad but not because of their arguments (going against other great TDers, bad voting etc). Take a look at Goodell or B0mb3rs win/loss record if you don't believe me. People on this site know who the good TDers are and who the bad ones are (without looking at the records). If you become a good TDer, everyone will be afraid of TDing against you for fear of a loss and the great TDers will be more than happy to TD against you (those guys are always looking for a good TD and don't care about losing).
Here's an example of how NOT to TD: http://www.fannation.com/throwdowns/show/120958
How to Vote:
Below are the major issues I've seen with TD voting.
- Spamming for votes. Advertising a TD once it drops off the front page is one thing (just fanmail either the Fannation Community or the new group created yesterday called TD fanmail community). It is a completely different thing to BEG for votes and sending the TD link to every single group on this site. If you know how to argue well, you shouldn't need to beg for votes!
- Homer Voting (or not voting). Homer Voting is voting strictly for someone because they argued for your team/player/coach/owner or voting against someone strictly because they argued against your team/player/coach/owner. Homer Voting also includes not voting in a TD because neither side mentioned your favorite team/player/coach/owner and stating such in the comments of the TD. Vote based on the arguments presented only!
- Reputation Voting. Reputation voting is voting or not voting for someone strictly based on the person's TD reputation. This happens when you have a newbie or an in-the-past-bad-TDer going against one of the "Best" TDers and you vote for the "Best" TDer without reading the arguments. There are some people on this site that do silly, funny TDs but also occasionally will do a serious TD but they will lose votes because people automatically assume they are being silly again. Read ALL the arguments and vote based on the arguments not who is doing the TD!
- Friend/Hate Voting. This is when you vote for your friends or against someone you've had issues with in the past. Don't automatically vote for your friends or against your enemies!
- Title Voting. This is when you vote for someone just because you agree with the title of the TD and it doesn't matter what either side argues. Vote based on the arguments not the title!
- Idiotic Voting. This is when you vote for those one word, one line arguments or for someone who only makes 1 argument total (doesn't finish the TD) and against the opponent who has made thoughtful, insightful, complete arguments (all 3 mind you). Just because you may agree with their side does not mean they should automatically get your vote - if they don't argue at all don't vote for them!
In my opinion, this is how you should vote for a TD:
Read ALL the arguments. Then ask yourself the following question:
- Which side argued their case better (full, complete thoughts backed by facts, stats, obvious research etc)? Keep in mind just because you may not initially agree with an opinion that doesn't mean they didn't back it up well and actually do better than the other side in defending their opinion. You never know, by actually reading the arguments someone might actually change your opinion in the process. I've actually voted for people that I didn't agree with ONLY because they presented their side better or because after reading the arguments they actually changed what I thought. If one side is clearly doing a better job defending their side of the TD they deserve your vote. There is a thing called INTEGRITY - look it up if you don't know what it means.
In my opinion the question above is the ONLY thing that should decide which side gets your vote in a TD. You should vote for the side that did the better job in the TD and no other reason.